The cable storm has passed – let’s move on

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
     Well this is a fun week. We hikers and the park learned a lot from the Permit exercise.  We can now move on with solving world crisis since I think things have settled down – at least until the next batch of permits goes on the block April 1. I still have some questions but the urgency is passed. There are now a heck of a lot of printed words on Half Dome safety.  This is good.  Many people think it’s just a “hard hike.”  But I find information scattered and can’t remember where I read  certain things. I suggest the park create a separate SINGULAR page with ALL the Half Dome info we’ve been flooded with. Like a repository of Socrates – or maybe a site map! The best one I keep going back to is the original Press Release (and links) of January 29 that rocked us. But it is static and not updated with current guidance.  Here’s one that I found on the FAQ  page– did you read it?
Is there any benefit to canceling a permit if I know I won’t use it?
The Half Dome permit is non-refundable. However, if you cancel a permit far enough in advance, someone else may be able to use it. Once a permit is cancelled, it becomes available again via or 877/444-6777.

     Really? So hikers w/o permits need to continuously log into and see if anyone cancelled?  I can see Mother Teresa types doing this, but will Andy Average??
     In case you are interested in who is driving a lot of this, social scientist and ranger, Bret Meldrum started and is Branch Chief of the Visitor Use and Social Science branch of the Park’s Resources Management and Science Division. To learn more about what they do, watch the video <HERE>. A bonus is the shots of the ’97 flood.


     Finally (whew) if you locals can make it to the Pleasanton Library this Saturday,  Grant and John Hiskes will tell us about the believed discovery of Yosemite by Captain Walker in 1833, well before the Mariposa Batallion arrived in 1851. 2 pm. FREE

Unrelated thought worth quoting:The freedom I felt was exhilarating and the burning heat and thirst and faintness could not make it less.” –John Muir, 1874 

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


10 Responses to “The cable storm has passed – let’s move on”

  1. andy Says:

    Hey! My name is Andy. I don’t know what a Mother Teresa type is but I won’t be checking everyday for permit availability.

  2. Justin L Says:

    That’s funny Andy!. There are already listings on craigslist of people asking for half dome permits. The Black market has started already.

  3. mrhalfdome Says:

    Sorry. No mal intent there. How about “Tom Typical?”. :>)

  4. BellaBike Says:

    Wow, you know, this whole episode makes me wonder if I haven’t made a big mistake planning a trip to Yosemite this year. All the expense & effort to cross the country, rent a car, spend two weeks in hotels, eating two weeks of restaurant meals… for what? To stand in line for every good view? To take a nature hike with hundreds upon hundreds of other hikers? To have strangers in every photo I take? If crowding is so bad that they need permits for a fricken’ HIKE, why should I want to go there? It’s too late to cancel – I’d loose my airfare, but the whole thing seems a bit depressing now. I might as well have bought tickets for Disney World in July.

  5. Justin L Says:

    BellaBike you won’t regret it. The half dome trail is not that crowded. There are some crowds in the summer, add a little distance and elevation and they thin rather quickly. Those 400 permits are for a 16 plus or minus mile trail. Not really overcrowding. I would keep your trip, you will not regret it. If it was crowded, I would never go. I manage to make 10-15 trips a year there and think it’s amazing every time.

  6. mrhalfdome Says:

    He steps up onto his soapbox….

    This is 2010. The world population is almost seven (7) billion. The USA is 300M+. OK. It does make a difference. Unless we have a gigantic plague and cull the herd down to 3B or so, we better get used to it…and with exponential growth, it will get even worse. Been to the Pyramids lately? The Taj Mahal? The Great Wall? That said, we are loving Yosemite to death. Close to 4M visitors a year. So, either we stay home and watch videos of all the great places on earth or we deal with it. I am not going to grow moss on my buttocks while my neighbors go to the park, because it’s “too crowded.” Yes, it is…and will be until the next ice age. So there it’s true. Now, is Yosemite and Half Dome worth it to you? I don’t intend to try and convince you, but I can tell you that 5% of the park is the Valley – 95% of visitors ONLY see the valley. 1200 sq miles vs 7 sq miles (the valley). Don’t spend your vacation all in the valley. The reality is that you will be doing HD with me and on a Wednesday. It is WAY thinner then. You will see a nice group heading up the Happy Isles trail at 6 am…then the Mist trail steps will thin them out. Then after Little Yosemite Valley you will have a group of 4-5 in front of you that you will play leapfrog with as they rest…and a small group behind you. That’s it. Kinda like your trails back home. If you move along you will be at the cables by 9:30 or so. They will be generally empty. Up you go….Gawk for a while…then back down. By then the cables will be full but you are going down then for all of 20 minutes. Then the 5 hour hike down. Not bad in my book. Is it worth it? 25 times and I still think so. Call me if you need more motivation. Get excited!! Carpe Diem. And book that trip to the Pyramids – yes, they are worth it.

    Uncle Ricky

  7. BellaBike Says:

    Lord, lord, Uncle Ricky, bless your heart, you really should be on the payroll at YNP. Thank you for dragging me back from the edge. You’re right, of course. I will henceforth cease worrying about the crowds, and go back to being scared spitless about the cables! 🙂

  8. mrhalfdome Says:

    Yup, 2,000 feet straight down…ker plunk!!! :>)

  9. John Lauer Says:

    Yes, the crowds are generally on the highways and down on the Valley floor. Also, you have to remember the Valley is only about 7 square miles, while the park is over 1000 sqaure miles. There are plenty of good hikes with hardly any people. You want a good, exhilerating hike with probably no people on it, take what is left of the old Ledge Trail from behind Curry Village up to Glacier Point.

  10. andy Says:

    The Glacier Point hike is a good one. The problem is while you sweated and strained to get there, the tour bus is dropping off loads of people! Where is their permit! 🙂

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